Haiz, bad news all throughout this week. Credit crisis, Lehman Brothers, AIG and the ever-growing milk powder scandal in China. @#$#@% The unscrupulous idiots who had thought only about their profits and ignored how their one small action had snowballed into a global problem. I feel like stuffing tonnes of melamine down these idiots’ throats and stone them with their kidney stones.
Yes I am pissed and angry, but this melamine-tainted foodstuff crisis goes beyond just that. The larger issue is all that corruption throughout the entire production line. How’s the central government going to sieve through all that? I am sure they will find the scapegoats, from the small ikans to one or two head honchos. But this will happen again, unless the government does something really drastic.
Being in HK now and the close proximity we have with PRC, this milk issue is really messing up the milk powder supply in HK. This isn’t the first time we are experiencing problems with buying formula milk, but it is worse now. Some time after TJ and I moved back to HK, that was about Mar/Apr, we had problems with getting his milk powder (Enfalac Stage 1) too. At that time, it was said that many PRC people came to HK to buy that particular stage (as it was cheaper in HK than in China) and resell them. And ‘cos of this, Mead Johnson raised the price of Stage 1 so as to prevent these people from wiping out the supply meant for babies in HK. Luckily we didn’t buy that many tins of Stage 1 since TJ was going on to solids and could take Enfapro Stage 2 soon after.
Before this milk scandal was revealed, we had planned to change to Enfagrow A+ (Stage 3) after he finishes his current tin of Enfapro (Stage 2). D was happy to note that Enfagrow was cheaper than the first 2 stages, which was normally the case and most importantly, we realised then that the milk powder for the older age groups was normally in stock.
Although we are saddened by the situation the babies and their parents are facing in China , this has also hit us indirectly cos we are having a lil’ crisis here too. It’s so much harder to find these tins and when we do find them, D and I would just buy and stock up. Who knows when this mess will clear up.
I suppose all the local parents are doing the same thing too, and it probably doesn’t help that there was also a baby boom in HK last year (it was the year of the supposed auspicious Golden Pig, although the Fengshui masters did say that last year was actually the year of the Fire Pig). This meant that there are lots of tots who are of TJ’s age too and most definitely drinking the same stage as him. The weird thing is all other brands are pretty much readily available, but not the one that TJ takes.
Once again, the “clever” China folks have made the trip over to HK to buy as many tins of milk powder as they could possibly carry back. The news carried visuals of these Chinese carting boxes of milk powder and before they take the train back to China, they would divide the tins among themselves and carry in their hand luggage. And I could see most of them had acquired the Enfa series. Now the stores here limit each customer to just 2 tins of formula milk but this has not stopped the shrewd Chinese. When interviewed, they said they would make multiple trips or go to different stores to purchase the milk powder.
The one thing that the Chinese folks is doing right now is to send in as much manpower as possible to source for this new commodity, and since this is a free market, as long as someone has the cash to pay for the milk, the stores will sell. Who cares if the tins are strictly for the HK market. Times like this the BF mums will be relieved, and the Nazi BF mums will be saying “See, should continue to BF”. I would if I could, but the taps dried up soon after I returned to HK.
Ok, I have never trusted Made In China products, but we can’t escape from them since most major companies have factories in China since labour is cheap. But when it comes to food, I am very particular with where they come from, especially food that TJ takes. And since TJ started on solids, I have always bought beef, chicken and fish that are either from Australia or USA. Yeah, it is definitely more expensive, and even more so if it’s organic (even D has gotten onto the organic wagon, but we aren’t 100% organic… too ex to do so). But for a better peace of mind, I seriously will not be so calculative.
Anyway, between D, my helper (she found a 1.8kg tin that was imported from Malaysia) and I, we had been keeping a lookout for the precious tins and so far, we managed to stock up quite a few. Just praying hard that this situation will wrap up soon, that the PRC babies will get well soon… and that the Enfa series is clean.
NEW: Click here for the HK Centre For Food Safety’s updates on the test results of dairy product samples.